So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Saturday, June 6, 2015
Update on copper coils
I do a few weird projects now and then. Folks might want an update on how they are working out. Here's a couple reasons why I buy copper rolls by the box.
This a pretty common use for a copper coil. This coil is wrapped around the stovepipe of my woodstove. On the other other side of the wall is a standard 40 gallon electric water tank. The coil is connect to the bottom and then the top of the water tank. That allows normal convection currents to transfer heat from the woodstove to the water tank. It wasn't getting quite hot enough for my liking so I added a second coil directly behind the firebox that then fed into the stovepipe coil.
The electric elements in the water tank are still fully functional. However, the tank is on a switch so I can turn them off. That saves a huge amount of electricity. The woodstove alone raises the freezing cold well water to about 100F. A short boost from the electric elements brings the water to 120F. Standard electric hot water tanks are normally a big part of a home's electric usage.
Another power hog is the regular electric refrigerator -especially if it's a number of years old, like mine. Unlike other refrigerators this one has a huge copper coil in the middle of it. Every drop of ice cold water used in my house first travels through the refrigerator coil. It's so effective that I can unplug the refrigerator and food keeps just fine. However, I still want to use freezer so the unit is plugged into the grid. In spite of that the coil appears to be greatly reducing power usage. Should the grid go down, my well pump is powered by my solar electric system so I'd still have refrigeration. That system was actually tested for over month with no grid power. Worked fine.
My Home has a moderately sized solar electric system. Still, I've decided to keep the grid rather than run a backup generator. It does allow me to be lazy. For example on warm days I'll often use electricity to cook with. I do have an outdoor propane stove, but bad weather and bugs drive me back inside. Another big power draw is electric power tools. Sure I could do all those jobs with hand tools, but there are only so many hours in the day. Many of them I like to spend fishing instead of doing things like hand sanding.
Keep in mind that New Hampshire has some of the highest electric rates in the country. In spite of that my last electric bill was $40. Only half the bill is actual electric usage. The other half is delivery fees. It would be a whole lot higher without the magic of my copper coils.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.